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Visa Partners With Nokia to Offer RFID-enabled Services

The credit card company will leverage Nokia's newest Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled handset, the Nokia 6212 Classic, to deliver a range of applications, including contactless payments, money transfers and remote payments.
By Beth Bacheldor
Tags: Retail
Oct 03, 2008Visa and mobile device manufacturer Nokia are joining forces to deliver new services, including contactless payments, money transfers and remote payments, on Nokia's newest Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled handset, the Nokia 6212 Classic.

The NFC-enabled handset contains an RFID module that can function as an RFID tag and as an RFID reader. The module operates at 13.56 MHz frequency and supports ISO/IEC 14443. The 6212, which begins shipping this month and will be available worldwide, is Nokia's fourth-generation NFC-enabled handset. The new handset expands on Nokia's NFC capabilities already available in the 6212's predecessor, the 6131, which was launched in the summer of 2007 and was Nokia's first fully integrated, commercial NFC phone that supported read-write capability and card emulation, two of three NFC features defined by the NFC Forum, a group of manufacturers, applications developers, financial services institutions and others working to advance the use of NFC technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. With card emulation, the NFC device itself acts as an NFC tag, appearing to an external reader much the same as a traditional contactless card. This enables such applications as contactless payments and e-ticketing, for example.

The new 6212 Classic supports read-write capability and card emulation but adds the third feature—peer-to-peer communication—so that two NFC-enabled handsets can communicate and exchange information with each other by tapping them together (or bringing them within 4 centimeters of one another), explains Gerhard Romen, director of corporate business development at Nokia and vice chairman of the NFC Forum. Nokia's other previous NFC-enabled models could read supported RFID tags but not write to them. Its first model, launched in 2005, was simply an existing handset retrofitted with an NFC module, and the second, the 5140, had a built-in NFC module with read-only capability.

"Peer-to-peer communication means that if two people meet and have the 6212 devices, instead of exchanging [paper] business cards, they can exchange those cards automatically by tapping their phones together. Or let's say I have my phone, I take a picture, then I can touch your phone and you'll have the picture. Or I have a long URL I want to share with you, instead of showing it to you [on my handset screen] and then you try to type it into your handset, I just tap your phone and you have the URL," Romen explains.

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